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Hermana Erickson in Peru

¡hola!

Were it Expedient

This week my companion told me I was sleep talking in Spanish. Even my dreams are about contacting people or teaching about the restoration. The mission is an interesting time to say the least.

We had interviews with Presidente Larson in the mission offices this week, so it was fun to go to Magdalena and talk to him and his wife. We were there seriously all day and left at about 6 pm when everyone else in Lima left work so we were headed home on a bus with about 100 other people. I wish I could have taken a picture, it was crack up with how many people they were trying to cram into the bus.

Yesterday the Zone leaders told us that they´re going to switch us the boundaries of our sector. At the moment we share a ward with a trio of elders, and its split pretty much down the middle one way (vertical), but starting tomorrow they’re going to split it the other way (horizontal), so we´ll still have half of our sector and now half of the elders sector. It’ll be interesting for sure to be in a new place and knock some new doors and hopefully find new people to teach!

This week I read a talk by Elder Bednar and here’s a quote I loved:

“Righteousness and faith are certainly instrumental in moving mountains– if moving mountains accomplishes Gods purposes and is in accordance with Gods will.”

Faith doesn’t necessarily mean everything will turn out perfectly, but if we trust in God we know that He could make everything perfect, but we accept even when he doesn’t. It reminded me of Mosiah 5:3

“And we, ourselves, also, through the infinite goodness of God, and the manifestations of his Spirit, have great views of that which is to come; and were it expedient, we could prophesy of all things.”

I love the part ¨were it expedient¨

Not everything we want to happen is going to happen but if we can trust in God’s will, we’ll be able to be happy and assured that everything is working out for the best.

Have a great week! Love y’all!

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Apartment roof view (1 of 2)
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Apartment roof view (2 of 2)
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Mazamora and arroz con leche. I am not really sure what exactly mazzamora is, but its made of purple corn and is kinda like warm jelly? There’s also random pieces of fruit like apples and peaches in it and we eat it with arroz con leche. Its super yummy though and people here eat it like there’s no tomorrow.
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Sorry my feet are ratchet but here’s my missionary shoe tan lines

Happy Mother’s Day

The highlight of this week: getting to Skype my family yesterday! Happy Mother’s Day to the best mom out there (mine) and to all the rest of the moms too! It is seriously such a blessing to be able to see and talk to my fam even though it was of course not long enough.

In honor of my mom, today we visited an old church. There’s a bunch of cathedrals here and we went to one in the center of Lima that’s a museum with a bunch of old art and books and interesting things that we weren’t allowed to take pictures of. Also, there are catacombs underneath the church and the bones are all arranged and it’s kinda creepy but pretty cool. There’s a bunch of femurs and skulls. Today the lady said that 20,000 people were buried there. It’s called Monastery de San Fransisco. It was cool because when I came to Lima three years ago, we also visited the catacombs and cathedral.

This week was pretty normal, we walked around, taught some lessons, ate some rice. I guess I forget that what’s normal here as a missionary isn’t normal back home so I’ll try to give some more information. One thing is that people here don’t really invite us into their houses so when we teach lessons, we mostly do it standing on people’s doorsteps. It’s interesting to pray and read the scriptures and teach in the middle of the sidewalk but it’s all good, I’ll take whatever chance we get to share the gospel with people.

This week I have been reading Joseph Smith’s History and the testimonies at the front of the Book of Mormon. It’s so special to know that God still talks to us, will answer prayers, and we have the guidance of a modern day prophet.

I also read a talk called “Approaching the Throne of God with Confidence”´ by Elder Jörg Klebingat that I loved. It was about how we don’t have to live every day being sad that we are not perfect and worried that we aren’t good enough in the eyes of God because we can use the Atonement of Jesus Christ every single day. Thanks to our Savior, Jesus Christ, we can repent every day and rely on his grace to become better each day and have the assurance that as long as we are striving to be our best, we´re alright before God.

Love,

Hermana Erickson

Post Script:

hey homies

I’m so happy I got to Skype with yall yesterday!!! I didn’t get to say everything I wanted to say but I hope yall know how much I love each one of you individually and you jokers collectively. I’m so so so blessed with the best family in the world. Not sure if I said thanks when you said you sent a letter in the mail but thank you!!!!!!
Happy mothers day to mom. We are so lucky to have you as our mom. for real.
Yall look great, I’m glad everything is going well! Please keep me posted on the goings-ons in your life! and yes, I really do miss yall.
Tell everyone (the fam) hello and I love them!
Thanks for your nice comments about my Spanish  hahaha. I’m working on it. I definitely pray for the gift of tongues every day.
Oh yeah, I was going to ask if we could have a family prayer before we hung up but I forgot, so have one without me and keep me in mind, yeah? Praying for y’all always.
Sorry for crying (honestly it’s like the first time I’ve cried in the mission) but I love yall and am so happy to be able o talk with y’all and share my testimony. I hope y’all now that I love being a missionary and I love talking to people about the gospel all day long. And like I said I especially love talking about the Book of Mormon and for real, there is a special spirit that comes when we read parts of the BOM with people.
You asked what I wish I had known before coming on the mission, and I’m still not sure how to answer that, but I just wanted to say thanks for preparing me for this craziness. For teaching me how to work hard, how to love the scriptures, how to try new foods, be flexible when the plan doesn’t work out, etc. Yall are the best.
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Happy Mother’s Day!

 

Things are Bananas (Bread)

From May 8, 2017

Hola!

Transfers were past week and I am so happy that nothing changed, Hermana Machuruti is stuck with me for another 6 weeks. Hahah, just jokes – we are both happy to still be here.

Yeah, not much else happened this week. We played volleyball with the zone today. And we get to Skype on Sunday! Can’t wait.

Shout Out to Sister Harries for sending me a banana bread recipe last p-day, which we looked forward to making all week and it turned out fantastic. See photos. We’re pretty psyched.

This week (and all other weeks) I was struggling with Spanish. SO I was reading in 2 Nephi 27 and felt like those words from God were exactly directed at me.

19 Wherefore it shall come to pass, that the Lord God will deliver again the book and the words thereof to him that is not learned; and the man that is not learned shall say: I am not learned. (aka I don’t speak Spanish)
20 Then shall the Lord God say unto him: The learned shall not read them, for they have rejected them, and I am able to do mine own work; wherefore thou shalt read the words which I shall give unto thee.
23 For behold, I am God; and I am a God of miracles; and I will show unto the world that I am the same yesterday, today, and forever; and I work not among the children of men save it be according to their faith.

How cool is it that God is a God of Miracles and he can do anything! If he called me here through his prophet to be a missionary in Peru, then that’s what I’ll do and if that means I have to speak Spanish, then I’ll be able to do what God needs me to do. It was a cool experience and made me love the Book of Mormon even more. It’s such a special book, and honestly, we can find answers to all sorts of questions. This week we were able to share the Book of Mormon with 4 different people and testify of its divinity and feel the spirit so strong in those moments because it for sure is the word of God revealed through his prophets!

Mom, I was hoping all week that your lesson would go well! I have been thinking about testimonies this week. There’s a cool part in Preach My Gospel, and I read a bunch of scriptures about testimonies and the cool thing is that whenever the prophets bear testimony they say they know what they know by the power of the Spirit. Even Alma who saw an angel says in one verse that he knows those things by the Spirit (Alma 5:46)

Spanish is hard, don’t laugh at me when we talk on Sunday. I do grammar exercises during language study and write new words in my agenda. I always ask my trainer to correct me but she doesn’t do it very often so that’s hard. I’ll ask again. I told her for real, don’t feel bad at all for correcting me. She and I started reading the Book of Mormon together out loud in both Spanish and English to practice, but we started in Mosiah because I can’t do 1 Nephi again right now. You know how it is.

Good luck with your Book of Mormon reading, it’s such a special book and my favorite to share with people, even when they don’t realize how special it is at the moment.

Love,

Hermana Erickson

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Hermanas Erickson y Macharuti Making Banana Bread
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Happy Mother’s Day! (PS: Check out the guy eating in the window behind me.)
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The Hermana Missionaries at Cerro San Cristobal
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Banana Bread

Joy is Possible

Joke of the week:

¿Que le dijo una pera a otra pera?

¡Espera!

HAHAHAHAHA. Puns are even better in Spanish! Hermana Machuruti told me that joke the other day and I cracked up for about 5 minutes.

This week I went to the immigration offices and received my foreign residence card so now I’m super official and can stay in Peru!

This week the weather was crazy and one day it was drizzling all day, which was interesting. If you can imagine the lightest rain possible while there is water still falling from the sky, that’s what it was. Also, it was not super hot but people were legit decked out in coats and scarves and sweaters while my companion and I were still rocking short sleeves. Interesting.

Our ward mission leader helped us put together an activity this week to which we invited our investigators. We played the simplest games – like hot potato and fruit basket – but it was so much fun and some of our investigators came and got to know some people from the church so it was good. They have a rule where if you get out 3 times, you have to do some sort of punishment such as sing a song in front of everyone or dance. I will never forget our recent convert Gustavo dancing like a chicken in the middle of the room, it was the funniest thing.

This week I love 2 Nephi 10:20, 23-24. It’s so great to remember that because of Jesus Christ, who is central to God’s plan for us, we can have happiness and be cheerful in this life! It’s so great that we are free to choose eternal life and every day can make choices to bring us closer to the Savior, I’m so thankful for the opportunity to share this plan of happiness with people every single day.

I have a lot of photos to send and will do so possibly later, but this computer is from the stone age so it might not happen. Thanks for the patience, Love you all!

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Pizza de Peru
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Hermana Meroy y Hermana Erickson
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Hermana Erickson y Hermana Machuruti at Cerro de San Cristobal
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What I’m Reading
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We Eat Empanadas Nearly Every Night
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View of Lima from Cerro San Cristobal
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Using Church Magazines as Art
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Inspiration
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The Liahona has pages specific to NW South America, and they had an article about HEFY who I came to Peru with in 2015

Gotta Catch ’em All

Today we had P-day with a bunch of the Hermanas. We all went to the center of Lima and took one of those open-top sightseeing buses to the top of Cerrro San Cristobal. It was super cool, you can see all of Lima, and all the pollution. There’s a 20m high cross at the top. I didn’t catch all the history they were telling me in Spanish but it was fun nonetheless.

This week we had a multizone conference in the mission offices. It was super good, learned a lot, yay! On the bus ride back we were with 2 other sisters from our zone and one Hermana is such a good example to me because she just starts chatting with the guy next to her. So I’m thinking of how I can do the same with the guy next to me who’s playing Pokemon Go. So I start off by asking him which is his favorite Pokemon and then was able to explain a little about the Church and the Book of Mormon. So, a shout-out to my brothers and their endless hours of playing Pokemon for helping me be able to talk to some guy on the bus about Gyarados and Charizard.

Hate to say it [because I’ve always disliked seafood/fish] but this week I ate some fish and actually enjoyed it 🙂 Our pensionista also runs a cevicheria so it was only a matter of time before we ate some sort of fish (we can’t eat ceviche though)

It’s a struggle to remember what happened this week because every week goes by so fast. Honestly, I feel like it’s Sunday and then the next day is Sunday again.

To learn vocabulary, my companion and I think of random words that rhyme and learn them in Spanish and English. Phrase of the week. When someone is being dumb you can call them cabeza de arcachofa – artichoke head.

This week my favorite scripture is 2 Nefi 2:24. I love the entire chapter about the Plan of Salvation but this one is especially comforting to know that God has a plan for everything in our lives.

We were able to teach the plan of salvation a couple times this week and it always helps me have a greater appreciation for the Plan of God and the knowledge we have to be happy through the gospel.

I will try to send pictures but this computer is ratchet so well see how it goes. [Editor’s Note: No Pictures]

Love you all!

Hermana Erickson

The Following are Excerpts from E-mail to Family Members:

I am happy. life is pretty good. At times this week, I was kinda thinking “What am I doing here in Peru?” It could have been so much easier to be a missionary in the states where at least people speak English and I can go to Walmart. But honestly, I love it here. LOVE YOU SO MUCH! Thanks for everything. Next week (?) we’ll have to coordinate the Skype for Mother’s Day. Or the next Monday, IDK but ahead of time is always good.

I saw my MTC teacher Hermano Castillo this week and he came to the English class I was teaching and it was way funny. Turns out he served in the same mission with Raquel, one of my roommates from last semester! Crazy. (The Mormon world is especially small)

In response to news Elder Uceda, a Lima native, visited Georgia: That is so cool! Everyone here LOVES Elder Uceda. His son is a bishop in one of the wards that my comp was in and she says that ward is ¡vale! because he’s so strict and on top of things. I heard Elders Ballard and Rasband came to the stake! How cool is that!

Please tell Brad and Morgan congrats on their graduations!!! I’m so happy for them, and thankful for the fun time we got to have at BYU together during Fall semester.

If you want to send me a recipe for banana bread, I would love it. With degrees Celcius, por favor.

Happy Easter

Thanks so much for the cute package/envelope I got this week!!! I LOVE Y’ALL!!! I really appreciate the old random photos and cute notes (I’ve read them like 15 times since Wednesday when I got them) and of course the Mary Engelbreit pics are appreciated. Y’all are the best!!!

I wish I was there to celebrate Easter with y’all. Nobody hardly even mentioned it here. Everything is Semana Santa on Thursday and Friday. There was a procession/parade thing in the street with all the Catholic people walking real slow holding candles and a crucifix of Jesus through the streets. It was muy interesante.

This week I have been reading a lot of Liahonas. Check out the article/talk called the divine power of grace by Elder Paul V. Johnson from the December 2016 Liahona. It’s the best! Also, I had to give a talk in church on Sunday about Día de Reposo (the Sabbath). Speaking Spanish in front of a bunch of people is always fun.

Funny story, we have these big jugs of drinking water and the guy who refills them came right after we woke up, so we went out in our pajamas and he complimented my Gremlins T-shirt which I wear for sleeping and we chatted about the movie for a bit. I was cracking up!

Our investigator Gustavo was baptized this Saturday!! YAY!!! (To be honest, last week we had no clue if he even wanted to, but this week was pretty cool to see the change and he was super into reading the folletos (pamphlets) and Book of Mormon chapters we would leave with him so it was really good. The only problem with the baptism was that everyone showed up on ‘Peru time’ aka 30 minutes late including the person with the keys to the chapel!

Today we had a Zone P-day and don’t have much time to write. We went to Fortaleza Real Felipe in Callao. It’s pretty cool. I’ll provide more info later if I remember; lots of old swords and military uniforms and such.

Please wish Grandpa Doran a Feliz Cumpleaños/Happy Birthday for me this week!!!!! Tell him I love and miss him!

Hope all is well at home!!! I love y’all. Thanks for all the emails and pictures. I’m so blessed.

Excerpts from notes Rachel sent to various family members:

  • I wasn’t going to tell you but the first Sunday here nobody in the ward plays the piano so we sang a capella. I felt slightly bad for not [having continued with piano lessons and] being able to play.
  • This week I was cracking up to myself because all the kids wear school uniforms that are basically sweatpants and t-shirts to match and I was remembering that town in Spain where EVERYONE was wearing a track suit! I was just laughing at the good times we had there and missing ya’ll. It was especially funny because that’s not something I can explain to my companion in Spanish.
  • I have to teach a 1 hour English class next week so if anyone has of any brilliant ideas of what to teach or an easy game to play, please let me know!
  • Yesterday I was eating soup and there was an entire chicken heart in my bowl. Yum! I love y’all! Hope all is well! Keep me posted on everything.

Editor’s Note: Given the limited time to email each Preparation Day, Rachel sometimes hand writes notes during the week and then sends pictures of the notes. See below.

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Letter to Mama Becky (Page 1 of 2)
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Letter to Mama Becky (Page 2 of 2)
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Letter to Hermanito Tomasito
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My Desk
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Gremlin T-Shirt
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Gustavo’s Baptism Day! (L-R: Hna. Macharuti, Gustavo, Hna. Erickson)
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Zone P-Day
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Fortaleza Real Felipe
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Hermanas Erickson y Macharuti at Fortaleza Real Felipe
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Photo Timer, but not sure which camera to look at when. Cheese!

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